Masa Itu Nyawa Pinjaman Allah

Monday, January 2, 2012

Wahai MELAYU mari kita renungkan sejenak


Melayu  & Malaysia Hari Ini
  
Saya ingin sentuh sedikit dalam konteks apa yang berlaku di Malaysia pada hari ini.Rasuah dan politik wang sememangnya berleluasa dalam kerajaan.Subsidi kepada rakyat makin berkurang sedangkan kerajaan bertanggungjawab atas kebajikan rakyat kerana kerajaan dibayar cukai oleh rakyat dan rakyat berhak mendapat subsidi.Pengurangan subsidi ini ditutup dengan istilah 'penyelarasan harga'.Padahal sebenarnya harga diselaras untuk mengurangkan subsidi,jadi kantung pihak-pihak tertentu dapat diselaraskan ke tahap maksimum manakala kantung rakyat diselaras ke tahap menyedihkan.Ketika Malaysia heboh berkenaan video seks Anwar Ibrahim,harga minyak 'diselaraskan' secara bertahap sedikit demi sedikit.Tetapi rakyat marhaen tidak sedar.Apabila minyak naik,maka majoriti barangan harian akan naik,sehingga yang tiada kaitan juga akan naik atas alasan kos pengangkutan.Sekiranya barangan naik tidak terkawal,maka ia akan sampai ke tahap inflasi,rakyat terpaksa membeli barangan yang sama dengan nilai wang lebih tinggi.Kos hidup akan naik.Emosi akan naik.Orang yang lapar adalah orang yang panas baran.Pihak kerajaan kena fikirkan tentang ini dan bilakah masanya rakyat yang lapar ini perlu diberi gula-gula untuk menenangkan mereka.

Bayangkan seorang bapa muda yang mempunyai 3 orang anak,hanya bekerja sebagai posmen atau pekerja kilang mahu menyara kehidupan anak beranak dikala harga gula meningkat kepada RM2.40 sekilogram.Barangan dapur,ikan dan sayur perlu dibeli.Dengan pendapatan hanya sekitar RM1300,ia adalah pengalaman yang mengerikan.Ada menteri yang bijak menyarankan rakyat marhaen bercucuk tanam di belakang rumah.Ada menteri yang pintar menyuruh mengurangkan gula dalam minuman,menambahkan manis dalam senyuman.Ini adalah pendapat yang menyakitkan hati.Adalah disyorkan menteri-menteri tadi dikurangkan pendapatan sehingga sekitar RM1300 sebulan selama beberapa tahun.Adakah mereka hidup dalam keadaan tersenyum-senyum dengan bermanis muka selepas itu?Mungkin mereka membantah kerana mereka sepatutnya mendapat pendapatan yang setimpal dengan pendidikan mereka,namun jika mereka memilih untuk menjadi menteri yang menjaga rakyat dan negara,MEREKA SEBENARNYA PERLU BERSEDIA UNTUK MENJADI HAMBA DAN BERKHIDMAT KEPADA RAKYAT.Bukan berlagak sombong dan memberi pendapat yang menyakitkan hati.

Fitnah yang berleluasa jika tidak dibendung akan memusnahkan sesuatu bangsa dan peradaban.Jika Perdana Menteri kita,DS Najib Tun Abdul Razak dituduh membunuh Altantuya Shariibuu,maka ketua pembangkang,DS Anwar Ibrahim pula dituduh dengan tuduhan meliwat Saiful Bukhari dan kini berzina dengan pelacur China.Apabila pemimpin-pemimpin Islam sebegini tidak digambarkan dengan imej yang baik,bagaimana mereka mahu memimpin rakyat,apabila terganggu dan sibuk dengan fitnah yang menempek ditubuh mereka?Tidak penting sama ada mereka bersalah atau tidak,apa yang ditekan di sini,budaya fitnah memfitnah ini tidak baik untuk 'kesihatan' umat Islam.Disarankan Najib dan Anwar mengamalkan membaca surah Kahfi pada setiap Jumaat:
Dari Ali r.a berkata: “Barangsiapa membaca Surah al-Kahfi pada hari Jumaat, maka dia akan terhindar dari segala fitnah sehingga lapan hari yang akan datang walaupun dajjal keluar, dia akan terhindar daripadanya.” (Tafsir Ibnu Kathir)

Isteri Perdana Menteri juga tidak terlepas dari bermacam 'fitnah'.Pembaziran wang rakyat yang dilakukannya jika tidak dikawal akan menyebabkan beliau berpotensi menjadi 'Imelda Malaysia'.Alangkah baiknya jika wang itu disedekahkan kepada orang-orang yang memerlukan.Negara tidak memerlukan 'Imelda'.Kita memerlukan wanita seperti isteri Khalifah Umar Abdul Aziz yang menyerahkan segala perhiasannya kepada Baitulmal untuk keperluan negara.

Perseteruan antara Pas-UMNO mesti ditamatkan.Tidak kisah Pas dan UMNO berbeza pendapat dalam politik namun diluar politik mereka perlu menunjukkan contoh umat Islam yang bersaudara.Lihat bagaimana Allahyarham Fadzil Noor yang sepentas dengan Tun Mahathir suatu ketika dahulu.Mereka berjabat tangan dengan senyuman mesra.PKR dilihat terlampau lembik untuk menangani DAP.Namun PKR masih penting untuk 'check and balance'.Tetapi jika silap langkah,PKR akan 'checked' dan hilang 'balance'.Pas tiada keperluan untuk menyertai Pakatan Rakyat.Pas boleh berdiri sendiri sebenarnya.Pas sepatutnya menjadi pemimpin dalam Pakatan,bukannya dipimpin oleh DAP dalam Pakatan.Jika tidak ada calon yang kompeten atau segan memimpin,sekurang-kurangnya Pas bertindak menjadi 'penasihat hal-ehwal Ugama Islam' kepada DAP,bukan dibuli oleh DAP.

Setelah lama berkawan dengan Pas,sepatutnya DAP lebih faham sensitiviti umat Islam,seperti mana Golden Horde dan Ilkhan yang memeluk Islam setelah lama bercampur dengan umat Islam.DAP sepatutnya ke arah lebih memahami agama Islam,bukan makin keliru dan mengelirukan diri sendiri.Pas kena perhatikan baik-baik perkara ini.Usahakan untuk dakwah kepada DAP tentang Islam,jangan takut.Jika ego dengan UMNO sampai segan mahu cakap kebesaran Allah,kenapa tidak dengan DAP?Sekular dan Komunis sama sahaja.Tetapi hati orang yang pernah masuk kalimah Lailahaillallah adalah lebih mudah untuk lembut jika diajak ingatkan Tuhannya.Ajak saudara UMNO datang ke masjid solat berjemaah.Kurangkan cakap pasal politik dahulu.Lembutkan hati mereka dengan kelebihan dalam Islam dan sistemnya.Layan mereka dengan baik dan mesra.Bila mereka baling batu,balas kembali dengan buah-buahan.

Bila mereka dekat dengan Tuhan mereka,mereka pasti akan menurut perintah-Nya tanpa perlu disuruh-suruh.Percayalah.

Hari ini usaha nabi s.a.w telah terpecah-pecah.Ada gerakan yang mengusahakan politik Islam namun usaha dakwah ditinggalkan.Ada jemaah yang mengusahakan dakwah,namun fiqh Jinayah atau bab kenegaraan Islam diabaikan.Ada pertubuhan yang mengusahakan bangkitnya sistem Khalifah,namun usaha paling asas untuk ajak manusia ke masjid dan tingkatkan iman tercicir dari agenda.Nabi s.a.w bukan datang ke Madinah terus bercakap pasal khalifah,nabi s.a.w bina masjid dahulu.Alangkah baiknya jika semua usaha nabi ini bergabung dalam satu gerakan.Nabi Muhammad s.a.w disamping ajak manusia kepada agama,beliau berhijrah dan menulis Piagam Madinah,perundangan pertama negara Islam Madinah.Baginda turut serta dalam usaha dakwah dan jihad;kedua-duanya adalah usaha di jalan Allah.Nabi s.a.w perintis kepada kekhalifahan Islam,namun pada masa yang sama istiqamah dalam mengusahakan dakwah ke masjid dan usaha atas iman masing-masing.Sesungguhnya nabi adalah sebaik-baik contoh,mengapa masih ada manusia yang berbalah sesama sendiri dan ego dalam mempertahankan prinsip nafsu sendiri?

Umat Melayu Nusantara selama ini berjaya memainkan peranan sebagai pembantu agama yang mulia ini.Ketika era penyebaran Islam,raja-raja Melayu melayan dan menyambut baik para pendakwah dari kalangan Ahlu Bait dan para generasi Sahabat nabi.Kita tidak pernah mendengar raja-raja Melayu menghalau atau membunuh para pendakwah Arab ini.Kemudian raja-raja Melayu menyebarkan Islam sehingga ke Filipina.Jika kita belajar sejarah Wali Songo,kita akan lihat percampuran darah dari Arab,Parsi ,Champa,Melayu Kelantan hingga ke Jawa.Hasilnya seluruh Nusantara menerima hidayat Ilahi.Bukti penyebaran Islam oleh orang-orang Melayu ditampilkan dengan penggunaan bahasa Melayu sebagai antara 3 bahasa penting penyebaran agama Islam.Dua bahasa lain ialah Arab dan Parsi.Bahasa Melayu juga antara bahasa yang wajib dipelajari oleh para sarjana Islam terutamanya di Asia Tenggara kerana banyak kitab dan karya agama ditulis dalam bahasa Melayu.

Kini apabila terdapat usaha dakwah yang berpusat di Nizamuddin,India,yang membantu para daie dari India Muslim ini ialah sekali lagi...umat Melayu Nusantara tampil sebagai pembantu yang setia kepada agama yang mulia ini.Usaha ini dikatakan lambat diterima oleh umat Arab mungkin kerana polisi Wahabinya yang keras.Namun umat Melayu sekali lagi nampak betapa perlunya membantu rakan-rakan mereka dari India ini untuk sama-sama menyegarkan Islam di hati umat manusia.Firman Allah s.w.t:
"Dan hendaklah ada di antara kamu segolongan ummat yang menyeru kepada kebajikan, menyuruh kepada yang ma'ruf dan mencegah dari yang munkar; merekalah orang-orang yang beruntung." (Ali Imran: 104)

Jika kita tidak mampu berdakwah kepada manusia,seperti saya yang lemah iman ini,sekurang-kurangnya kita sokong dan bantu jika ada saudara kita yang mahu  menyeru kepada kebajikan, menyuruh kepada yang ma'ruf dan mencegah dari yang munkar.Maka sebab itu Allah s.w.t menyatakan perlunya ada satu golongan di kalangan kita yang ambil tugas ini walaupun sepatutnya semua orang Islam semestinya menjalankan amal maaruf nahi munkar.Janganlah sampai kita dicatat oleh malaikat sebagai orang yang menghalang agama Allah yang mulia ini.

Saya berdoa supaya Perdana Menteri dan isterinya diberi hidayat oleh Allah s.w.t untuk amal agama dalam hidup.Saya juga berdoa supaya negara ini aman dari fitnah,juga DS Anwar Ibrahim.Hanyasanya orang berjaya dan selamat dunia akhirat ialah orang yang hidup dalam kemuliaan agama.

Berdiri di hadapan makam Syeikh Saifuddin Bokharzi di Bukhara benar-benar menginsafkan.Sekiranya lelaki mulia ini mampu melembutkan hati seorang Khan,malah pemimpin kepada pasukan Mongol yang paling ditakuti seluruh Eropah,Golden Horde,mengapa tidak kita,mampu melembutkan saudara kita yang pekat dengan sekularisme namun masih mengaku Allah s.w.t,Tuhan yang memerintahkan hukum Hudud dan Qisas dilaksanakan di dalam AlQuran.


"Tidak rugi orang yang bermesyuarat & tidak menyesal orang yang istikharah"

Monday, December 12, 2011

Hubungkait Bangsa Melayu Dengan Wangian Dan Rempah Ratus

  Perkataan 'Mala' adalah kata yang diambil dari satu manuskrip kuno (scriptures) yang menceritakan kehidupan,perjuangan untuk hidup dan peperangan yang terjadi di Nusantara beribu tahun dahulu.'Mala' sebenarnya bermaksud 'bunga' atau 'haruman'.'Mala' adalah asas bagi nama bunga Melati dan Melur;dua bunga yang menjadi lambang yang bertahap 'cult' dalam mistik dan kesusasteraan Melayu.Nama gadis-gadis Melayu purba kerapkali diberi nama Melati atau Melur,menunjukkan nama dua bunga ini adalah nama yang tertua dan terkenal sekali di kalangan bangsa Mala.Perkataan Mala adalah nama asli bangsa ini,ketika di sebelah Parsi-Sumeria,bangsa ini digelar Mala-Ur atau negeri Mala/kaum Mala,tidak hairanlah sarjana Tamil atau Sanskrit Purba menamakan bangsa ini sebagai Malai-Ur atau Malayur,ini kerana sudah tentu mereka mengambil nama ini dari manuskrip Sanskrit dan Avesta kerana bangsa Aryanlah yang membawa budaya Vedic dan warisan ilmu pengetahuan dan kesusasteraan ke Benua Kecil India.Perhatikan kata Mala-Ur ini berubah menjadi Melur di lidah orang Melayu.Para sarjana China Purba pula menamakan bangsa ini Mo-Lo-Yue dan kata ini berasal dari kata Ma-La-Yu.'Mala-Yu' adalah nama yang diberi oleh raja-raja Babylon dan Assyria kerana -Yu adalah suffix dalam bahasa kuno Avesta yang merujuk kepada budaya,pemikiran seterusnya kaum itu sendiri.Gadis yang bernama Mala,Melur atau Melati adalah lambang gadis suci yang penuh sopan-santun dan adat Melayu ketimuran.

Dari sukukata 'Mala',bangsa purba memberikan pelbagai panggilan dengan penambahan suffix yang berbeza.

Bunga,haruman dan wangi-wangian adalah salah satu kod rahsia bangsa misteri.Jika kita ingin mengenali bangsa ini,kita perlu tahu apakah signifikannya perlambangan bunga dan wangi-wangian kepada bangsa Melayu.Bangsa misteri ini telah sekian lama menghasilkan wangi-wangian untuk tujuan perubatan,mistik atau mengawet sesuatu.Bangsa misteri selain menggunakan bunga-bungaan,sering juga menggunakan rempah-rempah untuk mewangikan ruangan rumah atau balai.Mengapa kerajaan-kerajaan Eropah berlumba-lumba mahu menguasai Selat Melaka?Antara faktor terbesar ialah untuk menguasai perdagangan rempah.Rempah-ratus adalah bahan yang penting untuk memanaskan tubuh,sebagai ubat-ubatan dan resepi masakan.Dan perdagangan rempah sebenarnya telah dikuasai oleh pelabuhan-pelabuhan Melayu.Mengapa?Pada zaman dahulu ketika para pedagang Eropah mendapat bekalan rempah dari pedagang India dan Arab,mereka tertanya-tanya dari manakah para pedagang Arab dan India ini memperolehi bekalan rempah ini dalam jumlah yang banyak.Ini membuatkan mereka berusaha untuk mengetahui sumber segala rempah ratus ini dan berharap dapat menguasai tempat di mana rempah-rempah ini didapati.

  
Rempah adalah satu bahan yang penting dalam kehidupan mistik di dalam istana Firaun dan rahib-rahib Judea Kuno.Para ahli sihir Firaun adakalanya menaburkan rempah-rempah di dalam persembahan sihir mereka kerana bau rempah-rempah yang harum dan beraroma ini menimbulkan sensasi dan mengkhayalkan;membantu mereka dalam kerja-kerja sihir mereka.Para rahib Judea (Kerajaan Yahudi Kuno,selain kerajaan Samaria) kerapkali membakar kemenyan;salah satu campuran rempah dalam bentuk getah pepejal untuk melengkapkan ritual mereka.Pokok Kemenyan (Styrax benzoin Dryand) adalah pokok yang biasanya ditemui di Kepulauan Melayu.Sebab itu para Firaun secara rahsia mengimport rempah-ratus dan kemenyan dari Kepulauan Melayu.Di Kuil Hatshepshut,ada terukir kisah-kisah pelayaran delegasi Firaun ke Nusantara,dan terdapat ukiran pohon-pohon besar yang amat rendang seperti yang terdapat pada pokok Jati,Keruing atau Merapoh.Pohon-pohon besar ini juga ada yang dibawa ke Mesir untuk di tanam di sana.Kemenyan dan rempah sememangnya diketahui hanya didapati dari Nusantara.

Bangsa Mala yang tinggal di kepulauan sudah semestinya berasal dari Tanah Besar juga,tetapi terdapat tiga kemungkinan,

1.Sama ada mereka berasal Tanah Kanaan,menuju ke Himalaya,merentasi Sungai Mekong hingga ke Yunnan seterusnya menurun ke Benua Siam (Indochina) dan belayar ke Kepulauan Melayu.Rujuk Teori Ibrahim-Keturah

2.Atau dari Tanah Kanaan,mereka menuju ke arah laut dan belayar hingga ke kepulauan Melayu.Rujuk Teori Pelayaran Raja Mus.

3.Mereka sememangnya tinggal di daratan Tanah Besar tetapi perubahan geografi menyebabkan Tanah Besar terpisah-pisah menyebabkan terjadinya pulau-pulau.Rujuk Teori Lemuria dan pencairan ais ketika berakhirnya Zaman Ais serta Teori Hanyutan Benua.

  Sebab itu apabila apabila seorang gadis dari Nusantara telah disunting oleh seorang lelaki terhormat dari Tanah Kanaan,sumber-sumber Judeo-Sumeria menggelarkan gadis itu Keturah,atau 'kemenyan/wangi-wangian' dalam bahasa Ibrani menunjukkan nama sebenar gadis itu kemungkinan adalah 'Melur','Melati' atau 'Damar Wangi' dalam sebutan Nusantara.
Sebelum kita meneruskan topik yang semakin menarik dan misteri ini,mari kita telusuri beberapa jenis bunga yang popular dalam masyarakat Melayu.

Bunga Kemboja
  
Bunga Kemboja (Plumeria acuminata, famili Apocynaceae),adalah salah satu bunga purba yang dihormati bangsa Mala.Bunga ini adalah bunga yang kerapkali kita jumpa di perkuburan-perkuburan Melayu.Ini menunjukkan terdapat warisan ritual bunga-bungaan pada masa silam yang masih berbaki dalam masyarakat moden Melayu hari ini.Bunga Kemboja berwarna putih dengan pusat bunga berwarna kuning keemasan.Pokok ini sememangnya banyak ditanam di halaman candi (di Tanah Jawa) dan kawasan kubur.Kehadiran bunga Kemboja di perkuburan Melayu amatlah mengundang perasaan aneh dan misteri.Adakah bunga ini melambangkan kematian atau kehidupan selepas mati?Di Bali,Tarian Legong Keraton tidak akan lengkap tanpa bunga ini.Bunga ini selalu dipakai di telinga penari semasa upacara tarian itu berlangsung.Di Jawa pula, bunga Kemboja dilarang ditanam di halaman rumah kerana bunga ini boleh menimbulkan kesan seram seperti suasana kubur dan juga boleh mengundang roh jahat yang akan mengganggu ketenteraman penghuni rumah. Ada juga sebahagian masyarakat yang percaya bahawa mereka yang berjaya menemukan bunga Kemboja yang berkelopak genap (6 helai) akan mendapat rezeki.

Di Hawaii (nenek moyang mereka adalah dari Proto Mala), kalungan bunga Kemboja dipakai untuk menyambut tetamu.Nama kerajaan purba Melayu yang membina Angkor Wat diambil dari nama bunga ini.Sememangnya Angkor Wat asalnya adalah istana kota bangsa Mala sebelum diduduki oleh etnik Khmer dan mula menambah di sana-sini mengikut kepercayaan Buddha mereka.

Bunga Cempaka
  Bunga Cempaka (Allamanda family Araceae) adalah juga salah satu bunga yang mendapat tempat pada budaya dan kesusasteraan Melayu purba.Bunga ini selalu juga digunakan di dalam seloka,gurindam dan juga prosa Melayu dahulukala.Bunga cempaka adalah bunga yang cantik.Tidak hairanlah terdapat manuskrip Melayu dinamakan Cempaka Sari dan nama kerajaan purba Melayu dahulukala juga di ambil dari nama bunga ini.Tumbuhan bunga ini mempunyai kelebihan dari segi perubatan.

Bunga cempaka kuning, khasiatnya adalah sesuai untuk wanita selepas bersalin, kencing tidak lawas dan demam selsema.Cemnpaka putih pula sesuai untuk merawat pitam,bisul atau radang tengkuk.

Bunga Kenanga
  Bunga Kenanga (Canangium odoratum, famili Annonaceae) sangat sesuai ditanam di halaman rumah kerana ianya dapat menolak `black magic` seperti terkena buatan orang. Bunganya yang berbau harum digunakan untuk membuat bunga rampai atau dipakai semasa upacara adat tertentu.

Pokok kenanga merupakan pokok yang besar setinggi 38m dengan diameter batangnya 1m. Pokok kenanga yang ditanam untuk tanaman hiasan biasanya setinggi 1 hingga 2 m.

Bunga kenanga berwarna hijau kekuningan, tidak begitu menonjol dan tumbuh berkelompok yang terdiri daripada 6 hingga 10 kuntum pada satu tangkai. Kelopak bunga ini berbentuk pita yang agak terpilin sepanjang 5 - 10 cm.

Bunga Melati/Melur
  Bunga Melati (Jasminum sambac, famili Oleaceae) telah dinobatkan sebagai bunga rasmi Indonesia oleh Presiden Soeharto pada 5 Julai 1990.Bunga ini merupakan simbol kepada kesucian, ketulusan dan kebersihan hati.Bunga Melati juga antara bunga yang menjadi lambang kemelayuan purba dan banayak hikayat yang menyebut nama bunga ini dan nama wanita yang dikaitkan dengan bunga ini juga adalah perkara biasa.

Melati sangat popular dalam kehidupan masyarakat Melayu, Betawi, Jawa, Sunda, Madura dan Bali kerana ianya dianggap melambangkan kesuburan, kesejahteraan dan kemakmuran.Pengantin tanpa lilitan untaian Melati pada keris yang dipakainya akan dianggap kurang sempurna pernikahannya.

Ibu-ibu yang mempunyai air susu yang kurang boleh menjadikan Melati sebagai ubatnya.Melati yang sudah digiling hendaklah disapu pada buah dadanya agar air susu yang dihasilkan bertambah banyak.

Melati dapat dibezakan kepada 2 jenis berdasarkan kepada mahkota bunganya, iaitu yang berbunga tunggal dan berkumpulan. Bunga Melati berwarna putih dan berbau harum.

Bunga Kemuning
  
Bunga Kemuning (Murraya paniculata famili Rutaceae) merupakan pokok yang setinggi 3 – 7 m, berbatang pendek, berdaun rimbun dan memberi manfaat sebagai tanaman pagar. Tanaman ini berbunga terus-menerus sepanjang tahun. Warna bunga ini pada peringkat awal ialah kehijau-hijauan dan setelah mekar penuh ianya bertukar menjadai putih bersih.

Daun dan bunganya jika digiling halus dan disapukan pada badan, akan membuatkan seseorang wanita lebih cantik dan berkulit kuning bersih. Kayunya yang berwarna kuning agak kecoklatan merupakan bahan yang sesuai untuk membuat sarung keris.

Bunga Seroja
  
Bunga Seroja (Nelumbo nucifera famili Nelumbonaceae) adalah bunga yang sering menjadi lambang dalam agama Buddha.Seroja sering terkeliru dengan bunga yang hampir sama dengannya iaitu Bunga Teratai.Bunga Seroja ditakrifkan sebagai lambang kebijaksanaan dan pencerahan.Adalah dipercayai,Bunga Seroja dibawa ke Mesir melalui ekspedisi-ekspedisi raja dan ratu Mesir ke Nusantara.Seroja sering dilihat sebagai bunga yang disucikan dan dihormati oleh agama misteri Firaun dan motif bunga ini diukir di dinding kuil selain ditanam di taman-taman diraja.Dari Mesir,bunga ini disebarkan ke Assyria,seterusnya ke Parsi,India dan China.

Bunga Teratai
  Bunga Teratai (Nymphaea famili Nymphaeaceae) sering dikelirukan dengan bunga Seroja.Seroja memiliki tangkai bunga tegak dan bunganya tidak mengapung di permukaan air, sebagaimana pada teratai.Pada zaman dulu, orang memang sering mencampuradukkan antara tanaman 'genus Nelumbo' seperti seroja dengan 'genus Nymphaea' (teratai). Pada bunga jenis Nelumbo, bunga terdapat di atas permukaan air (tidak mengapung), kelopak berwarna merah (teratai berwarna putih hingga kuning), daun berbentuk lingkaran penuh dan rimpangnya biasa digunakan.Jika Seroja amat rapat dalam menerangkan pencerahan dan kebijaksanaan dalam agama Buddha,apabila umat Melayu menerima Islam,bunga Teratai menjadi ganti menerangkan falsafah yang kompleks.
Bunga Teratai menjadi perlambangan kepada ajaran Islam dan konsep ketuhanan sebagaimana kajian seorang pengkaji,Abdullah Bin Mohemed (lahir 1931) tentang konsep bunga Teratai di Alam Melayu:
  Bagi tingkat ketuhanan tangkai adalah adalah lambang Zat Allah
yang kuat berpegang kepada sekuntum bunga. Zat Allah yang
dimaksudkan ialah Zat Allah yang berada pada “Tingkat al-Ahadiyah”.
Bila terjadi perdampaan di antara dua sifat Jamal dan Jalal maka lahirlah
seketul “kudup” bunga teratai, Ketika ini tangkai itu menjadi ghaib dan
wujudnya bersama kudup.
Kudup adalah melambangkan “Hakikat Muhammadiyah” yang
mula-mula lahir dalam alam hakikat, sebelum lahirnya hakikat-hakikat
segala sesuatu. Sebagaimana pada diri Hakikat Muhammdiyah terhimpun
hakikat-hakikat segala sesuatu, begitu juga pada kudup yang kuncup itu
terhimpun segala kelopak, stamen, rahim bunga, stigma dan lain-lain.
Selepas segala kelopak berkembang, segala stamen terbuka dan
segala-galanya wujud beberapa banyak, menjadi sekuntum bunga yang
berkembang. Bunga yang berkembang dari hakikat-hakikat segala sesuatu
yang terkeluar dari diri Hakikat Muhammadiyah.

  Bagi lambang kejadian alam dalam tingkat kealaman, menurut
Abdullah,zat Tuhan kepada tangkai adalah sifat alam kejadian, apabila
berlakunya kejadian maka lahirlah kudup bunga teratai. Ketika itu tangkai
akan ghaib dan wujud bersama kudup. Kudup adalah melambangkan
manusia atau alam kecil yang mula kelahiran sebelum lahirnya alam besar.
Bagi tingkat kealaman ini Kudup bunga adalah sebagi lambang ‘Nur
Muhammad’. Sementara Sekuntum bunga teratai yang berkembang adalah
sebagai lambang alam besar. Setiap kelopak bunga itu adalah
melambangkan tiap-tiap peribadi makhluk.
Abdullah juga dalam kajian falsafah Teratai menyatakan bahawa bunga teratai adalah
lambang kejadian alam dan lambang bentuknya adalah suatu amalan
tradisi yang lama dalam masyarakat Melayu. Penggunaan motif atau
bunga teratai digunakan sejak sebelum kedatangan Islam lagi. Menurut
beliau sejak zaman raja Ahmad bentuk bunga teratai digunakan dalam
upacara tradisi dan mempunyai makna-makna tertentu.

   Bunga telah lama menjadi tradisi bangsa Melayu.Amalan menabur bunga di perkuburan bukanlah ikut-ikutan budaya orang lain malah ini adalah budaya Melayu kuno zaman-berzaman.Amalan mandi bunga juga adalah salah satu rahsia perubatan orang Melayu lama sebelum terapi bunga-bungaan ditemui oleh orang Barat.Mandi Bunga memang merupakan ritual orang Melayu tradisonal yang mempunyai unsur-unsur yang sudah bercampur-aduk antara kepercayaan Dinamisme, Hinduisme dan ‘Popular Islam’. Dinamisme ialah kepercayaan adanya ‘tenaga tak berperibadi’ dalam diri manusia, haiwan, tumbuh-tumbuhan, benda-benda hidup, perkataan yang diucap atau ditulis, tanda-tanda yang dirakamkan dan sebagainya.Dalam bidang antropologi, tenaga ini juga biasa disebut sebagai ‘mana’, dengan meminjam istilah rumpun suku Polynesia. Ia dikenali sebagai ‘sahala’ oleh orang Batak dan ‘kesakten’ oleh orang Jawa.

   Di kalangan orang Melayu tradisional, ‘mana’ dikenali sebagai ‘semangat’ seperti yang difahami oleh mereka dalam insiden ‘lemah semangat’, ‘kus semangat’ dan sebagainya. ‘Mana’ bagi golongan tertentu mempunyai gelaran yang khusus. ‘Mana’ bagi raja-raja dikenali sebagai ‘daulat’ dan ‘tulah’. Sedangkan ‘mana’ bagi para ahli agama baik golongan pawang dan dukun pada zaman Dinamisme, sami dan pendita pada zaman Hinduisme-Buddhisme, mahupun alim-ulama’ pada zaman Islam, dipanggil sebagai ‘berkat’ dan ‘keramat’.

Salah satu ramuan Mandi Bunga ialah limau yang dianggap dapat menjauhkan segala makhluk jahat.Limau bersama-sama sirih pinang adalah merupakan bahan utama untuk pelbagai kepercayaan dan ritual orang Melayu tradisional. Sebagai contoh:

1. Air tepung tawar yang ‘asasnya’ terdiri daripada campuran air, bahan-bahan lain dan limau purut yang dihiris.

2. Limau nipis digunakan sebagai pengeras bagi pelajar silat dan perubatan tradisional. Limau purut pula diperah dan dicampurkan dengan air bagi mengubat penyakit terkena buatan orang.

3. Upacara ‘mandi-mandi’ atau ‘berlimau’ diadakan dalam pakej adat perkahwinan Melayu tradisional iaitu selepas kedua-dua pengantin bersatu. Pengantin akan berpakaian lengkap dan duduk di bawah naungan kain yang diregangkan dengan pegangan dua orang di kiri dan kanan. Air dan campuran limau, sintuk dan lain-lain ramuan akan dijiruskan daripada atas menerusi kain tersebut.

4. Di Perak, mandi tolak bala dilakukan dengan menggunakan hirisan buah limau nipis yang digosok-gosokkan ke badan seperti mana sabun. Selepas itu, barulah sambungan kepada perkara-perkara yang dilakukan dalam ritual tersebut akan dilanjutkan.

5. Dalam upacara berdoa’ dan memanggil semangat padi di Sungai Dacing, Lenggeng, Negeri Sembilan; pawang akan ‘menawarkan’ limau-limau yang disediakan dengan cara menepung tawar, menjampi dan meludahnya sebanyak tiga kali. Selepas itu, limau akan dipotong-potong dan dibawa ke sawah untuk ditempatkan di tapak semaian padi, agar padi subur dan selamat dari bencana.

6. Wujud juga pantang-larang berkenaan limau dalam kehidupan orang Melayu tradisional. Salah satu daripadanya ialah larangan membawa limau purut jika mandi di sungai, nanti dibaham buaya. Kononnya buaya amat marah dan mungkin mengganas kerana buah limau itu menyerupai bonjol di atas kepalanya dan berhubung kait pula dengan asal usul kejadiannya.

Daun, bunga dan limau dengan sifat-sifat tertentu (misalnya daun bertemu urat dengan warna tertentu) dan bilangan tertentu (misalnya tujuh jenis bunga dipetik ketika pagi masih berembun), ditambah dengan mantera yang dibaca oleh bomoh akan mendatangkan ‘mana’ yang akan membawa manfaat yang diinginkan. Oleh yang demikian, unsur kepercayaan Dinamisme dalam amalan Mandi Bunga dapat dikesan apabila ramuan mandi yang telah mempunyai ‘mana’ tersendiri disatukan bagi membentuk gabungan ‘mana’ yang baru pula. Hasil daripada kewujudan ‘mana’ baru yang ‘lebih bertenaga’ ini, maka dipercayai kononnya ‘mana’ pada orang yang melakukan Mandi Bunga juga akan menjadi lebih kuat, berupaya menghalau segala sial dan sihir, serta mampu menarik lebih banyak tuah dan keuntungan.
Bau-bauan yang wangi dalam amalan Mandi Bunga ini juga dipersembahkan kononnya sebagai bahan pengorbanan kepada makhluk-makhluk halus yang akan membantu mengambil hati mereka. Maka apabila perbuatan ini dilakukan, makhluk halus yang jahat dan membawa sial akan meninggalkan diri pihak yang melaksanakan amalan Mandi Bunga itu. Makhluk halus yang baik pula dipercayai akan menggantikan tempat yang dikosongkan oleh makhluk halus yang jahat tadi dan sekaligus membawa manfaat kepada pihak tersebut.

Orang Melayu memang rapat dengan bunga dan tahu rahsia dan kekuatan setiap bunga-bungaan tersebut.Jika kita lihat halaman rumah orang Melayu di kampung-kampung,kita akan dapati pelbagai jenis bunga biasanya ditanam oleh orang-orang Melayu di halaman rumah.Gadis-gadis Melayu secara amnya memiliki naluri untuk menanam bunga di halaman rumah selepas berumahtangga walaupun tinggal di perumahan yang sesak atau di flet-flet.Setiap petang gadis-gadis Melayu ini tidak lupa untuk menyiram bunga-bungaan mereka ini yang ditanam di pasu-pasu mahupun ada yang tergantung.

Lambang bunga juga dijadikan simbol kerajaan Melayu Purba,malah menjadi motif bagi nisan raja-raja besar mereka.Bunga Teratai dan Seroja selalu dipilih untuk menghiasi bahagian atas nisan-nisan raja-raja Melayu.

 
Pada pintu gerbang kota juga lambang bunga dipahat dan terdapat juga lambang bunga di meriam-meriam Melayu dahulukala.Kegemaran bangsa Melayu menjadikan bunga sebagai lambang kerajaan mereka diwarisi oleh Indonesia yang menjadikan Bunga Melati sebagai bunga kebangsaan manakala Malaysia memilih Bunga Raya sebagai bunga rasmi negara.

  Bangsa Mala yang tinggal di kepulauan sudah semestinya berasal dari Tanah Besar juga,tetapi terdapat tiga kemungkinan,

1.Sama ada mereka berasal Tanah Kanaan,menuju ke Himalaya,merentasi Sungai Mekong hingga ke Yunnan seterusnya menurun ke Benua Siam (Indochina) dan belayar ke Kepulauan Melayu.Rujuk Teori Ibrahim-Keturah

2.Atau dari Tanah Kanaan,mereka menuju ke arah laut dan belayar hingga ke kepulauan Melayu.Rujuk Teori Pelayaran Raja Mus.

3.Mereka sememangnya tinggal di daratan Tanah Besar tetapi perubahan geografi menyebabkan Tanah Besar terpisah-pisah menyebabkan terjadinya pulau-pulau.Rujuk Teori Lemuria dan pencairan ais ketika berakhirnya Zaman Ais serta Teori Hanyutan Benua.
  


Friday, November 11, 2011

Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa

HIKAYAT MERONG MAHAWANGSA
Siam Lancang dalam HMM:Realiti atau Fantasi?

AssalamuAlaikum, Salam Sejahtera kepada semua!

Kali ini saya mahu mengajak anda mengkaji lagi rahsia di dalam Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa (HMM). Mari kita lihat bagaimana 'READ BETWEEN THE LINES' dalam konteks menterjemah maksud tersirat dalam HMM. Di akhir artikel ini anda akan dapati pencerahan secara akademik bagaimana plot yang diambil dari HMM ini sebenarnya adalah bayangan kepada kisah sejarah yang sebenarnya terjadi di Indochina,beribu-ribu tahun dahulu melalui 'cross-reference' dengan riwayat-riwayat asing,catatan atau ulasan dari sejarahwan.Saya akan ajak anda kaji secara akademik dan logik,bukan angguk-angguk cakap wasiat orang mati yang dah ditokok tambah dari mulut ke mulut atau percaya repekan 'pendatangness' yang memang buta sejarah.

 Orang Melayu semenanjung sebenarnya telah lama berada di tanah besar dan bukannya berasal dari Sumatera.Sebahagian besarnya berada di Indochina dan Segenting Kra,melalui negarakota-negarakota mereka (city-states).Orang Melayu yang menubuhkan Langkasuka bukanlah Melayu Sumatera.Langkasuka ada kaitan dengan Funan,dan orang Melayu semenanjung pada zaman purba punya hubungan dengan Khmer,Pyu,Mon,Burma,Dai-Viet dan Tai;satu hubungan istimewa yang tidak dipunyai oleh Melayu Sumatera mahupun Borneo.Sebab itu prasasti-prasasti yang mencatatkan salasilah raja-raja Melayu Indochina ditemui sejauh Vietnam (Prasasti Dong-doung,contohnya),apatah lagi di Kemboja.Sebab itu jika ada orang gila yang mengatakan kepada kita bahawa Melayu berasal dari Sumatera,jangan layan.Sebab kita tahu bahawa Langkasuka dan Tambralinga yang wujud sezaman dengan Funan iaitu lebih kurang 1 Masehi beratus-ratus tahun lamanya sebelum kemunculan Sriwijaya dan Melaka yang seringkali dikaitkan dengan Melayu Sumatera.

Kini para pengkaji telahpun mengesan sejarah awal Sriwijaya di utara semenanjung.

Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa
ini sebenarnya amat penting kerana dapat menyelamatkan kita yang berada di semenanjung ini dari dicap sebagai 'pendatang dari Sumatera'.Sebab itu sebagai usaha untuk menghilangkan jatidiri orang Melayu,hikayat ini pernah diburu untuk dimusnahkan oleh kerajaan Thai dan British.Namun seperti biasa,raja-raja Melayu bijak membuat beberapa salinan dan disebarkan ke beberapa orang.Raja Thai telah membakar naskah HMM manakala British pula merampasnya dan membawanya ke England.Namun hari ini kita masih dapat menatap rahsia dari hikayat ini.Usaha mereka gagal sepenuhnya untuk melenyapkan bangsa Melayu.

 Raja Thai telah hampir mempupuskan orang Mon dan mengecilkan saiz tanah orang Khmer seperti yang kita lihat hari ini.Ketika menawan Segenting Kra dan menjajah Kedah,serta berjaya membakar HMM,raja Thai ketawa besar kerana menyangka telah menakluk seluruh dunia Melayu,seperti mana yang dilakukannya ke atas orang Mon dan Khmer.Namun raja Thai terkejut besar apabila hikayat ini masih wujud dan orang Melayu masih berada di selatan semenanjung,Sumatera,Borneo malah ke Filipina!

Jadi boleh dikatakan bahawa Melayu asal semenanjung kebanyakannya berasal dari Indochina,Segenting Kra hingga ke utara Malaysia.Sebab itu kita lihat orang Kedah dan Kelantan mempunyai 'originaliti' yang ketara terutama dari segi loghat.Orang Melayu Indochina turun ke semenanjung Malaysia setelah ditekan oleh perluasan kuasa oleh Thai dan Dai-Viet.Baca baik-baik ya,Melayu Indochina.Ini kerana di semenanjung,orang Melayu telah ada,kebanyakannya tinggal di pesisir pantai.Saya suka namakan orang Melayu Indochina ini sebagai 'Melayu Darat'.Sebab mereka bina 'city-states' jauh ke darat dan pakar dalam bidang pertanian.Negeri Jelapang Padi di mana?Melaka?Sebab itu Kedah adalah salah satu negeri yang teramat penting.Ini kerana nama purbanya,'Ketah' adalah nama yang tercatat dalam banyak tradisi Khmer purba.Saya telah menjumpainya dan ia benar-benar mengejutkan!

Berbalik kepada HMM,saya ingin fokus kepada pembukaan negeri-negeri Melayu oleh keturunan Merong Mahawangsa.

Saya amat tertarik kepada sebuah negeri yang dibuka jauh ke utara iaitu negeri Siam Lancang.Saya petik dari HMM m/s 49:

"...Maka di situlah sekalian berbuat istana dengan kota parit serta dihimpunkan segala orang yang duduk bertaboran pechah belah itu.Maka di satukan sekaliannya,maka menjadi besarlah.Maka dinamai negeri itu Siam Lancang,tempat membuat kota istana itu.."

Saya 'highlight'kan perkataan 'Siam Lancang',kerana ia adalah perkataan yang sangat penting.Dalam HMM,negeri Siam Lancang dibuka oleh anak Raja Merong Mahapudisat yang tua,bersama-sama Pra Chisim dan isterinya Nang Sutaman,pemerintah rakyat gergasi.Saya tidak pasti apakah 'gergasi' ini,namun di dalam HMM,pengarangnya membezakan bangsa Melayu dengan gergasi ini.Lihat ayat ini pada m/s 47:

"Setelah didengarnya oleh Raja Merong Mahapudisat sembah menteri itu,"Jikalau demikian hendaklah saudara kerahkan segala kaum gergasi himpun sekaliannya dan panggil penghulu Pra Chisim dan penghulu Nang Sutaman itu ke mari,kita beri ia pergi bersama-sama anak kita dan orang kita Melayu,setengah kita suroh pergi bersama anak kita yang tua ini kita hantarkan ka hulu di sebelah utara barat laut.Maka tanah bumi itu lanjut jauh jua perjalanannya"

Perhatikan nama Pra Chisim dan Nang Sutaman.Yang lelaki memakai pangkal nama Pra manakala isterinya Nang.Pra adalah nama yang juga digunakan oleh orang Khmer merujuk kepada sesuatu yang suci;Preah.Dalam sistem penggelaran Thai terdapat juga perkataan Pra dan ini sudah pasti hasil cedokan dari gelaran Khmer,Preah atau kemungkinan besar dari Melayu Indochina iaitu Prah.

Dalam riwayat Sri Dharmaraja dan beberapa riwayat Khmer lain ada menyebutkan keturunan Sri Dharmaraja (Ligor) yang memakai pangkal nama Nay (Nai) bagi lelaki dan Nan (Nang) bagi perempuan.

Tetapi HMM menyebutkan asal-usul Pra Chisim ialah berbangsa Melayu:

"Adapun Pra Chisim itu anak Melayu.Ia beristerikan Nang Sutaman gergasi.Maka ia beroleh anak saorang laki-laki Parak namanya.."

Maka gelaran 'Pra itu adalah sebutan Siam kepada 'Preah' dalam bahasa Mon-Khmer,berasal dari kata Praoh atau Prahu.Apakah Prahu?Perahu ialah bot orang-orang Melayu!HMM telah mengesahkan bahawa gelaran Pra berasal dari bahasa Melayu dan gelaran raja Melayu Indochina.Lihat,inilah namanya 'cross-reference'.Kajian saya mengenai Raja Parahu yang terpahat namanya di Luxor,Mesir punya kaitan di dalam Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa.Saya tidak perlu mereka-reka cerita dari wasiat orang mati untuk menipu orang ramai,maaf,seperti yang dilakukan oleh saudara Tarmizi dari Blog Kedah Cyber Cadbury.

Saya berpendapat bahawa gergasi adalah satu rumpun lain selain bangsa Melayu.Kemungkinan bangsa Kamboja yang baru bermigrasi dari Asia Tengah atau campuran Khmer-Kamboja.Dalam sejarah Khmer,ada menyebutkan rumpun Kam,satu kaum yang menjadi asas bangsa Khmer.Kam ini berasal dari suku Kamboja atau Saka yang datang dari Asia Tengah,membawa kebudayaan Veda dan Sanskrit.'Gergasi' adalah perlambangan tubuh badan yang besar.Jadi adalah munasabah kaum Kamboja lebih tegap dan besar dari kaum-kaum sebelah timur ini.

Gelaran Nai dan Nang adalah gelaran Melayu dari negeri 'city-states' Tambralinga.Tambralinga adalah nama lama bagi Sri Dharmaraja yang dikenali sebagai Ligor.Nai digunakan bagi lelaki manakala Nang bagi perempuan.Dalam rekod Khmer ia disebut sebagai 'Nay' dan 'Nan'.

Apa yang ingin saya beritahu anda ialah nama Siam Lancang itu.Adakah ia punya 'cross-reference' dengan sumber lain,sebagaimana negeri Langkasuka yang juga disebut dalam rekod China dan India?Dua negeri lain yang dibuka oleh keturunan Merong iaitu Perak dan Kedah juga punya 'cross-reference' dengan sumber lain.Jadi mari dengar ini cerita.

Dalam HMM,perjalanan dari utara semenanjung ke Siam Lancang itu mengambil masa 200 hari perjalanan (berjalan kaki),iaitu kira-kira 6 bulan.Bagi saya adalah munasabah.

Adakah nama Siam Lancang itu hanyalah fantasi?Berita baiknya,tidak.

Di dalam sejarah Indochina pernah berdiri satu kerajaan yang bertempat di Laos kini iaitu kerajaan Lanxang.Sebutan Lanxang dalam sistem sebutan Mandarin (han yu pin yin) ialah 'Lan-chang' bukan 'Lan-zang'.Dalam sejarah kontemporari,kerajaan Lanxang telah ditubuhkan pada tahun 1354 oleh seorang putera raja bernama Fa Ngum.

Lanxang mengikut sejarah Laos adalah bermaksud 'sejuta gajah' (lan=sejuta,Xiang=gajah).

Apakah kaitan Lanxang dengan Siam Lancang dalam HMM?Kaitannya ialah gelaran yang diambil oleh Fa Ngum merujuk kepada kerajaan dan kedaulatannya.Dalam riwayat Lanxang ada menceritakan apabila Fa Ngum mencapai umur 37 tahun,dia diberi gelaran "Phragna Fah-La-Thorani Sisatanakanahud".Gelaran ini sebenarnya sebutan Lao kepada "Pongna Prah Dharnindra Sri Santan Naga Nahud" di dalam bahasa Sanskrit.Apa yang menjadi trivia ialah gelaran "Sri Santan Naga" itu adalah gelaran raja-raja Melayu Champa dan Sri Dharmaraja!

Mengapa Fa Ngum mengambil gelaran raja-raja Melayu?

Sri Santan Naga juga ditulis sebagai Sri Siantan Naga dalam rekod-rekod Khmer dan Vietnam.Pernah dengar mitos Sri Siantan?Syair Siantan?

Penggunaan gelaran raja Melayu ini benar-benar terbukti apabila seorang raja Lao dari keturunan Fa Ngum,Setthathirath telah menggunakan gelaran 'Maulimalayu' ketika mengutus surat kepada raja-raja di sekitarnya.Salah satunya ialah utusan yang dihantar kepada Borommaracha IV,Raja Lovek dari Kemboja terkandung gelaran purba raja Melayu ini yang bermaksud "Mahkota dari orang-orang Mala".

Ini bukan rekaan saya.Anda boleh merujuk kepada buku History of Laos oleh Maha Sila Viravong,juga Le Laos Francaise yang ditulis oleh Eugene Picanon.

Mengapa semua keanehan ini terjadi?Jika raja Laos mengambil gelaran raja Melayu,apa motifnya?Mengapa?

Perkara ini sebenarnya amat memeningkan saya dan ulasan dari sejarahwan Laos dan Khmer juga tidak jelas dan mereka juga berada dalam kekeliruan bagaimana mahu mengaitkan mana-mana sejarah Malaysia atau Indonesia (yang diketahui mereka mewakili 'dunia Melayu') dengan gelaran raja-raja Lao awal ini.

Pada pendapat saya,Fa Ngum telah membina kerajaan Lanxang di atas bekas wilayah Siam Lancang yang disebut dalam HMM.Fa Ngum juga telah mengahwini seorang puteri Khmer dan saya menganggak dari isterinya itulah,Fa Ngum yang berketurunan Tai mempelajari gelaran raja-raja Melayu purba yang ketika itu berpengaruh dalam istana Khmer.Pendapat kedua saya ialah Fa Ngum telah membina Lanxang selepas mengalahkan raja Melayu terakhir di wilayah Siam Lancang itu kemudian menubuhkan kerajaannya sendiri.Ini kerana ketika itu juga kerajaan Sukhotai juga sedang meluaskan pengaruhnya.Seperti biasa,kebudayaan awal negeri-negeri Tai akan meniru atau mengasimilasikan kebudayaan negeri-negeri yang ditakluknya.Untuk mengetahui kebudayaan bangsa Tai yang sebenar,kita boleh lihat budaya sukukaum Zhuang di China dan Shan di Myanmar.Kerajaan Sukhotai juga menjadikan Buddha Theravada sebagai agama rasmi selepas mengimport ramai sami-sami Melayu dari Tambralinga (Sri Dharmaraja) bagi mengajar aliran itu kepada bangsa Tai.Ini samalah juga bagaimana U-Thong,membina kerajaannya di atas wilayah Sri Dharmaraja.Maka saya berpendapat Fa Ngum membina kerajaannya di atas wilayah Siam lancang.

Maka tidak hairan kerajaannya dinamakan sebagai Lancang,berbetulan pula dalam bahasa Tai-Lao bermaksud 'seribu gajah'.Lancang dalam bahasa Melayu bermaksud kenaikan,yang selalunya digunakan untuk kapal dan perahu.Pernah dengar tentang Lancang Kuning?Iaitu bahtera kenaikan sultan Siak dan Melaka.


Dalam syair Siantan ada menceritakan tentang negeri Champa:

"Tinggi-tinggi Gunung Siantan
Dew Perkase Hulubalangnya
Tidak setia kepada Bantan
Negeri Champa Konon asalnye"


Sejarah Kepulauan Riau ada menceritakan tentang lanun-lanun dari negeri Champa menyerang kampung-kampung.Saya lihat ada kaitan dengan 'Siantan' dan 'Champa',sejak seorang raja Champa bernama Simha Jayavarman memakai gelaran 'Sri Siantan'.

Sungguh,sejarah Melayu begitu mengasyikkan!





~Oleh 
Sriwijaya Mala


'Mala Malayu iva malayam raja'
 (ayat ini diambil dari Prasasti Han Chey di Kemboja bertarikh abad ke-6 Masehi,dipahat oleh Bhavavarman II,raja Chenla yang berjaya menakluk seluruh Funan.Ayat di atas bermaksud 'Raja Mala dari Negeri Melayu'.Ini adalah gelaran yang dipakai oleh raja Chenla itu setelah menundukkan Funan,empayar yang terkenal dalam sejarah purba Indochina)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Hikayat Langkasuka


                               Langkasuka
As we crossed the Kelantan, Malaysia border to Pattani, Thailand, and boarded a taxi, telling the driver that we wanted to go to history department of Prince of Songkhla University, the young Malay taxi driver asked us, "Are you looking for Langkasuka?" The answer was, Yes, we were.

Langkasuka was the ancient fabled kingdom of the Isthmus. Existing long before the Melakan Sultanate, and extending its influence even into modern times, it has been a lodestone for Malay historians and artists. "Looking for Langkasuka" is a journey of discovery, an attempt to dig through the many layers of influence from China, India, Cham, Siam, Sumatera, Jawa, and the Middle East, to discover the enduring essence of Peninsular Malay culture.

The history of the Malay-Indo world is very complex, one of its distinctive attributes being a kaleidoscopic turnover of political alignments, disagreements and separation movements. South East Asia in general has changed tremendously in the past hundred years and more so before that. Various powers mapped and remapped the states of the Golden Peninsula many times even before the arrival of the western colonials.

Modern Malaysia is the result of such a process, with rearrangement of pieces of the puzzle board even in very recent times. Malaya referring to the Malay Peninsula was divided by the British into Federated Malay States (Johor, Selangor, Pulau Pinang, Melaka, Perak, Pahang) and Non-Federated Malay States (Kelantan, Trengganu, Kedah and Perlis) in 1909. By 1957, when Malaya got her independence, Singapore was part of it. Sabah and Sarawak states on the west coast of Borneo joined Malaysia as East Malaysia in 1963 when the Federation of Malaysia was proclaimed. Two years later Singapore separated from Malaysia.

The result is that the country of Malaysia today consists broadly of three cultural spheres: Borneo (Sabah and Sarawak), the Southern Peninsula (formerly the Federated States), and the Isthmus (formerly the Non-Federated States). The cultural differences between these regions are still quite strong, as may be seen by the fact that in 1999 Malaysian General Election, Barisan Nasional, the ruling party led by Dr. Mahathir Mohamad lost power in two northern states, Kelantan and Trengganu. The people of these two states are known as staunchly traditional Malays and Muslims. They have a different socio-cultural history and behaviour as the history of these states could be traced back to the ancient kingdom of the Isthmus, known as Langkasuka, 2000 years ago.


North versus South

Malay scholars have tended to date the beginning of Peninsular Malay civilisation from the birth of the Melaka Sultanate on the west coast in 1402. They justify this on the premise that as far as existing materials permit, Peninsular Malay Kingdoms only take off from the period of Melaka Sultanate. There were three important historical documents on Melaka: Sejarah Melayu (Malay Annals), Undang-undang Melaka (Melaka Digest) and Undang-undang Laut (Maritime Laws), and these three provide much needed information on the nature of the Melaka polity and society. However this information applies largely to the Malays of the south and west coast of the Peninsula — it leaves open the question of what was going on in the north and east. The "History Began with Melaka" formulation is flawed, for it leaves out the story of civilisation up north along the Isthmus.

We get some indication of the situation in the north from the fact that the Melaka sultanate in its less than one hundred years in power tried but failed to conquer Kelantan in the mid-1400's. Melaka could not do so as Kelantan received military help from the Pattani Kingdom, known for its sophistication in war strategy. Hang Tuah, the famous Melakan warrior, who served in the court of three sultans, visited Pattani, probably after the first war between Melaka and Kelantan. It is not sure when he visited Pattani — either on his way to China or on the way back. In one account, Hang Tuah was supposed to have attacked Pattani but found out that the state of war art of Pattani was far greater than Melaka. Hang Tuah saw hundreds of canons surrounding the fort of the palace.

     From Hang Tuah's description, it is clear that on the Isthmus, powerful and well-established kingdoms such as Kelantan and Pattani preceded the founding of the Melakan Sultanate. Melaka did manage to defeat Kelantan on its second attempt and ended with a marriage of the Kelantan Princess, Onang Kuning, to Mahmud Shah, the last Sultan of Melaka. Their prince, Muzaffar Shah became the first sultan of Perak in 1531. Mahmud Shah, escaped to Johor when the Portuguese conquered Melaka in 1511 and established a new sultanate in Johor. He then fled to Riau-Lingga island, and finally went into hiding and died in Kampar, Sumatera. The war, ending in marital alliance, is typical of the political give-and-take between north and south. Such relations go back a long way and are underscored by recent archaeological evidence of trans-peninsular routeways of Melaka-Kelantan and Melaka-Perak-Pattani. These routes have been traced though the discoveries of various proto-historic settlements.




 
One noteworthy aspect of the wars between Kelantan and Melaka is the fact that in the Malay world of those days there was a blurred line between conquest and alliance. We can see this in the fact that the "defeated" Kelantan dynasty, through Princess Onang Kuning, ended up establishing marital ties with the sultanates of Melaka, Johor, and Perak. Another example would be the Sumateran kingdom of Sri Wijaya, centered at Palembang. In 685, the Chinese pilgrim Yiqing reported that Kedah had "become Sri Wijaya", which suggests that Sri Wijaya conquered Kedah. At the same time, other Chinese accounts referred to Sri Wijaya as a "double kingdom" with a capital in the north (identified as Kedah, or more likely, Kelantan) and a capital in the south (Palembang). It is not clear who was ruling who. This blurred line between conquest and alliance is important to keep in mind when reviewing the rise and fall of kingdoms and dynasties on the Isthmus, as described below, because it suggests that external political changes, such as apparent changes in rulers, may not have influenced local culture so much as we might imagine. Dynasties came and went; local polities survived.



The Beginnings


Critical to the history of the Isthmus is sheer geography. This narrow bridge of land was the nexus between China and India, between Siam and the Malay-Indo world, and it became as a result the natural landing place for Indian, Islamic, and Chinese traders, as well as the ever-fluid travels of the Malays themselves. What we might call the "Isthmian Malay region" stretched roughly from the area of Chaiya in present-day Thailand down to Kedah and Trengganu in Malaysia. This stretch of land, blessed with ports opening on oceans east and west, was the doorway to the natural riches of the "Golden Kersonese", and for this reason it became a jewel fought for and constantly attacked by Siam, Jawa, Sumatera, and Melaka. Given its strategic position, it is not surprising that the first accounts of ancient empires on the peninsula are centered on the Isthmus region.



As for what existed before the Melakan Sultanate, local Malay traditions and recent archaeological findings point to the existence of ancient pre-Melaka states such as Gangga Negara, in the Bruas-Dinding area prior to the foundation of the sultanates of Perak Sultanate, Trengganu and Kedah. Chinese r ecords of the Sui Dynasty onwards also speak of the existence of Kelantan and Pahang kingdoms in the pre- Melaka period. Not all the evidence is conclusive; in many instances there are far fetched speculations about the possible location of particular places, the names of which are available only in renditions of foreign languages such as Chinese and Arabic.



However, there is no doubt that a series of distinct kingdoms ruled the Isthmus from at least the first century, and by the 3rd century Chinese records give the names of about a dozen small states. From the 3rd until the 6th century, the Isthmus fell under the sway of Funan, an empire extending along the lower Mekong River in what is now Vietnam. Funan was the word the Chinese used to refer to the proto-Khmer Kingdom unified in the third century. This Hinduized empire imposed authority on the whole of the Isthmian section of the Malay Peninsula and the overland trade route, lasting for three hundred years.



The Isthmian Malay states regained their independence in the middle of 6th century after the Khmer Prince of Kambuja conquered Funan. From this time onwards important Malay states begin to appear in Chinese annals. Of the states mentioned, Tambralinga, another name for Ligor (present day Nakhorn Sri Thammarat), was situated near the northern limit of the Malay world. It is around this time that the Kingdom of Langkasuka first appears. Langkasuka (which the Chinese called Lang Ya Shu) was the largest and most prosperous of these early kingdoms, and may have covered the full width of Isthmus, lying to the south of Ligor and to the north of the present Malay Peninsula.



Courts of Malay Isthmian rulers in the early 7th century showed a high standard of elegance and luxury. Accounts describe Buddhism as the religion of the country, while Brahmans held positions at court. Throughout the first millennium of the Christian era, the Malay Kingdoms of Langkasuka and Ligor continued to appear in Chinese records, which described the Malay city states as prosperous reaching a high level of economic and cultural development.


Sri Wijaya and the Isthmus


Through conquest — and also subtly through alliance and defeat — the Isthmian states managed to survive in various guises and flourish from the 6th until the 14th centuries. From the beginning their history was intricately interwoven with more powerful empires to the north and south. To the north they alternately warred against and allied with the Khmer, and later the Sukhotai and Ayudthaya empires of Siam; to the south with the Sri Wijaya, and later the Sailendra and Majapahit empires in Sumatera and Jawa; to the west with the Chola empire in India.



The interplay with Indonesia is the most important of all influences, especially in the early period before the rise of Siam. Sri Wijaya, based in its early years at Palembang in Sumatera, was the mother empire of the Indonesian archipelago, the one from which all the others in Sumatera, Java, and Bali later sprang. It continued in different guises and locations from the late 7th century until the 14th century, and at various times exerted hegemony over the Malay peninsula.



By the 8th century a rival kingdom was thriving in central Jawa known as the Sailendras; they too controlled the Isthmus for a brief period. The Sailendras were related to the old kings of north-central Jawa as well as to the Sri Wijaya ruling house in Sumatera. Prince Patapan fled from Jawa to Sri Wijaya in 832 to ascend the throne, with the result that the Sailendra line was extinguished in Jawa but continued in Sri Wijaya on Sumatera. The history of Sri Wijaya is inextricably linked with the ruling houses of the Malay peninsula. For example, in the 15th century, Parameshwara, a Sri Wijayan prince fled from Sumatera to Singapura Temasek before he became the sultan of Melaka.



After Prince Patapan moved to Sumatera in 832, power in Jawa shifted from the centre to the east of the island. The Sailendras yielded to a series of dynasties in east Jawa who thrived from the 9th until the 15th century, most important of which was the Majapahit, dated usually from 1292 until about 1500. During the heyday of the Majapahit in the 14th and 15th centuries, the Malay Isthmian states appear at times to have been a part of the Majapahit empire. The subtle shifts of power along the Isthmus are very complicated and not many scholars have looked into this thoroughly. Meanwhile there were powerful influences from Chinese, and in later centuries, Islamic traders.



In about 1025, Rajendra Chola of South India attacked and subjugated Kedah, with the result that the Kedah region flourished with a Hinduized civilisation which has left the largest pre-Islamic monuments on the peninsula. Meanwhile, it was recorded in Pali chronicles of the 15th century that Sujitaraja, the Buddhist Malay Raja of Ligor had married a Khmer princess in the second half of the 10th century. The close association between 10th and 11th century Khmers and Isthmian Malays at the highest level provides many reasons that the ancient culture of the two peoples has much in common. The Malay rulers of Ligor acquired strength and ambition from their Khmer association.



So important is Sri Wijaya to the history of the Isthmus that there have been several attempts by scholars to place its capital there. Thai academia has a long tradition of adopting neighbouring dynasties as their own, viz. the identification of the original Thai nation with the Dali Empire of Yunnan. In similar fashion, Thais have claimed Chaiya or Cahaya (which in Malay means light), as the site where Si Wichai (Sri Wijaya) was. On the other hand, J.L. Meons (1937) believed that early Sri Wijaya was located in Kelantan and K.A. Nilakanta Sastri (1949) supported the idea. The Kelantan theory may not be far-fetched, since Chinese Sui Dynasty annals of the 7th century describe an advanced kingdom called Chi Tu ("Red Earth") as being in Kelantan. The ancient name for Kelantan was "Raktamrittika", meaning "Red Earth" — this was later changed to "Sri Wijaya Mala". The capital of Sri Wijaya Mala was called "Valai", and it was situated along the upper Kelantan river of Pergau, known for its rich gold mines.



The controversy over the true location of Sri Wijaya arises because of the fact that after the death of Maharaja Sri Jayanaga around 692, during the mission to capture Jawa Island, Sri Wijaya seems to have been divided into two states. The eldest son Maharaja Dipang ruled over Amdan Negara, that is, the Malay Isthmus, probably Kelantan/Kedah. The second son, Maharaja Dhiraja, ruled the islands (Sumatera and other islands of the Indonesian archipelago), based at Palembang. After the division into east and west, the name of Sri Wijaya remained in Sumatera, but on the Malay peninsula, a poetic title emerged for the Kelantan/Kedah area, namely, Tanah Serendah Sekebun Bunga (Valley of Flower Garden Land). This title is still found in traditional performing arts such as Mak Yong dance, Wayang Kulit puppet theatre, etc. By 730 the capital of Sri Wijaya in Sumatera moved from Palembang, known as Langkapura, to Kota Mutajap near the river mouth of Jambi in Sumatera.



It is reasonable to speculate that some elements of the Sri Wijayan culture originated in Sumatera, but later spread to other parts of South East Asia from Kelantan/Kedah. Yawakoti meaning Jawa Point, is situated at Bukit Panau hill along the upper Kelantan river near Pergau; some believe this place to be from which Jawanese politics and culture spread out. Jawa Duipa, an ancient name for Kelantan means Tanah Jawa ("land owned by the Jawanese"), or Kawasan Jawa ("Jawanese area").


Al Tabari states that the word Jawa or Jva was used more widely in ancient times. Jawa in those days meant "Jawanese culture" (i.e. Malay culture), including its centres on the Isthmus, as compared to now when Jawa only refers to Jawa Island in Indonesia. According to one tradition, the Jawanese moved down from Kemboja and spread out to the archipelago.


Looking for Langkasuka


Langkasuka is the name used, from very early times, for the kingdoms of the Isthmus. However, there are many conflicting theories concerning exactly where the kingdom of Langkasuka was situated. Hikayat Merong Maha Wangsa and The History of Kedah or Kedah Annals described Langkasuka as covering the Isthmus from sea to sea, from the port of Pattani to Kedah, with Gunung Jerai as the centre of the kingdom.



Notable among Chinese records is the Chi Tu Guo Ji, "Record of the Kingdom of Red Earth", written by the Sui Dynasty envoys after a visit to the peninsula in 607-610. This is the most important documentary evidence of an inland kingdom known as Chi Tu "Red Earth". There are a number of good arguments giving credence to the theory that the kingdom was situated in Kelantan. Upriver of the Kelantan area, Gua Cha is known for its early settlement some 8000 years ago. The Dabong-Pergau rivers are known for their clay deposits and witnessed the making of old black pottery; Tanah Merah (Red Earth) is the name of a place upriver of Kelantan. The capital of the kingdom was described in the Chinese annals as having triple gates more than a hundred paces apart painted with images of bodhisattvas and hung with flowers and bells ... to the rear of the king's couch there is a wooden shrine inlaid with gold, silver and five perfumed woods, and behind the shrine is suspended a golden light ... several hundred brahmans sit in rows facing each other on the eastern and western sides.




Chinese records written by Chang Chun during the reign of the 7th century Sui Emperor Yang Di, spoke of a kingdom called Lang Ya Shu in Chinese, identifiable as Langkasuka in Malay. Chang Chun described Langkasuka as one of the earliest individual states in South East Asia, a Malay Kingdom. Slightly earlier, the History of the Liang Dynasty 502-566 seems to support a Malay tradition that Langkasuka was founded at the end of the first century in the neighbourhood of what was later called Pattani. Lang Ya Shu proved to be of great economic importance, partly due to the existence of an overland trade route or portage across the Isthmus.



But which of these states is Langkasuka: Kedah, Kelantan, Pattani, or Ligor? Many scholars have come up with various theories, based on archaeological evidence, linguistic clues, or traditions from dance and folklore. Archaeologists point out that the Sungai Pattani River flowed from Kedah to Pattani with another route to Sungai Merbok, Kedah. They are trying to prove that the Bujang valley in Kedah, was the centre of Langkasuka, and the important ruins of Hinduized temples found there make it a strong candidate. Others have sought the origins of Langkasuka in its similarity with the names of Langkapuri, Langkapura, Langkawi and Alangkah Suka, the land of the legendary 17th century Princess Saadong. Paul Wheatley in Golden Kersonese insisted that Langkasuka was in Pattani. While we cannot be sure that Pattani was the capital of Langkasuka, Wheatley was not far wrong in pointing out that Pattani was a famous port of Langkasuka and later became a city-state in its own right before being subsumed as a province of the Thai Kingdom.



Stewart Wavell went seeking for Langkasuka in his romantic voyage depicted in The Naga King's Daughter, a cultural travel journal from Pahang in Malaysia to Chaiya in Thailand in 1963. Wavell described his excitement on meeting a girl named "Golden Naga" in Pattani. Golden Naga was a Manora dancer who described Manora as :


..the oldest of all magic from the land of Lakawn Suka. We merely pay our respect to the Princess Saadong.



Wavell drew together Lakawn Suka, the Pattani Malays' fairyland equivalent of Langkasuka, and Princess Saadong from the folk stories of Kedah. Golden Naga described Lakawn Suka as being near the hill of Bukit Sangkalalili in Pattani and placed the palace of Princess Saadong on the hill. Wavell discovered an old ruin at Yarang (Binjal Lima in Malay). His findings at this old Pattani monastery included:



Buddhas with cylindrical head-dresses of the Sri Wijaya style, carved with the naturalistic impulse of those Sailendras artists who worked such wonders at Borobudur in Central Jawa ... more interesting were the Dvaravati Buddhas of pre-Thai period, possibly prior to the 7th century when Langkasuka would have passed out of the orbit of Funan into the temporary vassalage of the Mons at Thaton before Sailendras spread their power over the former territories of Funan...



Wavell's comment on Funan is significant, because it lends credence to speculation that some of the earliest forms of Malay culture are to be found in Funan. Funan was Southeast Asia's earliest Indianized state, and it is known that Funan controlled the Isthmus from the 3rd to the 6th centuries. From there such influences could easily have spread south to Sumatera and Jawa.



Wavell wondered whether Yarang might even have been the capital of Langkasuka. However, H.G. Quaritch Wales and the Fine Arts Department of Thailand later asserted that the site was the northern capital of Sri Wijaya. Though Wavell knew that he could not make a clear archaeological connection between the Yarang ruins and Langkasuka, he insisted on linking Pattani with the tales of Langkasuka as they appear in folklore: the Story of King Merong Maha Wangsa, the Bukit Sankalalili hill, and the fabled Princess Saadong as revealed in Pattani Manora dance. H.S.H. Princess Piya Rangsit of Thailand believed in a variation of Wavell's theory, placing Langkasuka further north at Ligor/Tambralinga (Nakhorn Sri Thammarat) but she did not manage to fully research her discovery, as she was killed in a helicopter accident during a coup in the 1970's. Today, the Pattani people still believe that the old site of Yarang in Pattani is the site of the Langkasuka Kingdom, the same story they told Wavell nearly forty years ago.



The Chermin Empire and Majapahit II


While the history of the earlier periods is obscure, the later 14th and 15th centuries were a high point of the Langkasuka civilisation. Raja Sang Tawal the son of Raja Sakranta of the Melayur Empire, based at Ligor, moved to Kelantan after he was defeated by Siam in 1295 and lost Singgora (the old name for Songkhla). Kelantan then became the base for unified Langkasuka. In 1339, Raja Bharubhasa (Sultan Mahmud Syah) replaced his father Raja Sang Tawal as king of Langkasuka, and succeeded in grouping the Isthmus, Champa in Vietnam, and Samudra-Pasai in Sumatera into a new empire known as the Chermin Empire.



The period of the so-called Chermin Empire, reaching from Sumatera to Vietnam, was the zenith of Langkasuka power. Raja Bharubhasa captured Kedah from the mad king Raja Bersiong (Maha Prita Daria) and incorporated Gangga Nagara (the old kingdom of Perak) as part of the Chermin Empire. The Raja's sister, Dewi Durga ruled Lamuri, later known as Aceh. In 1345, the Siamese mounted a major attack on the Isthmus, with the result that Raja Bharubhasa was forced to offer gold and silver trees as tribute to the Kingdom of Sukhotai. The offering of tribute to Siam was a symbolic turning point, the "little weft within the lute" that centuries later was to end with Siam permanently capturing the northern portion of the Isthmus. Raja Bharubhasa moved upriver to another area in Kelantan called Bukit Panau, and named his new capital Jeddah, meaning "Jewel". The jewel capital of Raja Bharubhasa was situated very near the very site of the "Red Earth" kingdom of the 7th century — the original Langkasuka.




From this time onwards a tug-of-war with Siam ensued. In 1357 Gajah Mada of the Majapahit empire in Jawa defeated Siam and joined in a coalition with the peninsular states to successfully attack Ayudthaya. Gajah Mada declared Jeddah the capital of West Majapahit, with Jawa island being known as East Majapahit. History repeated itself, following the same pattern of Sri Wijaya when it split in the 7th century, and also located one capital at Kelantan/Kedah and another in Sumatera.



In 1395 Siam re-attacked the southern peninsula and captured Temasek in 1401. The power of Siam was on the rise. Sultan Iskandar Shah (Kemas Jiwa) was called from Jawa to come back and rule Kelantan, though he was married to the Majapahit Queen in 1427. Basing himself in Kelantan, Iskandar Shah proclaimed his kingdom as Majapahit II (1432-1502) with the capital called Kota Mahligai (Fort of Heaven). In 1467, Siam of Ayudthaya conquered Majapahit II, and Sultan Iskandar Shah fled to Champa and died there. His nephew Pateh Aria Gajah, who had served as Iskandar's prime minister, moved to Pattani. Later, Iskandar's son known as Mansur Shah briefly revived the Majapahit II kingdom in Kelantan. Majapahit II under Mansur survived a short time until defeated by Melaka in 1499.



As we can see from the fact that Iskandar Shah named his Kelantan kingdom "Majapahit II", the Majapahit empire of Jawa was inextricably connected to the history of the states of the Isthmus. Majapahit was known as the greatest empire of all states in insular Southeast Asia from 1300 onwards, claiming political control over most of the archipelago, but declining in the 15th century. Essentially, the relationship that earlier had existed between Sri Wijaya and the Isthmus evolved into one between Majapahit and the Isthmus.


Pattani


The final fall of Majapahit II in 1502 is sometimes taken by historians as the end of Langkasuka. However this defeat no more marked the end of Langkasuka than all the other victories and defeats, rises and falls of dynasty recorded earlier. The royal courts and culture of the region continued to thrive after 1500 — in fact the culture of the Isthmus reached its highest flower in the years that were to come. However, two important changes occurred at this time in the history of Langkasuka: First, with conversion to Islam by the Sultan of Pattani in 1500, the culture became Islamic. Second, the locus of Langkasuka shifted away from Kelantan, pulled higher up the Isthmus in a response to the growing power of Siam. From 1500 until 1900 power on the Isthmus was located in Pattani and Ligor (Nakhorn Sri Thammarat). This was the era of maritime power, and Pattani had an advantage over other states because of its important natural harbour.



Pasir Putih (meaning "white sand") is another name for Gresik, an earlier kingdom in Pattani history. It is the name of an old place in East Jawa, possibly during the Majapahit Kingdom. Gresik later became Pattani, and its importance grew after the beginning of the 14th century when Siam began to expand downwards and Ligor became a Siamese dependency. Pattani appeared in the records of the Ming Admiral Cheng Ho, who led a Chinese fleet to Melaka in the early 1400's. With the decline of the Majapahit and the Chermin empires after the 15th century, Pattani eventually gained hegemony over the Isthmus, and it maintained its independence long after Siam absorbed other northern Isthmian Malay states.


The glory of the Pattani Kingdom dates from the rule of Sultan Ismail Shah (1500-1530), who founded the Malay Muslim kingdom known as Pattani Darul Salam after he converted to Islam. It was believed that Islam in Pattani came way before Melaka (1412) and Trengganu (1303/1368), as Pattani was a seaport through which traders came and went, the source of Islamic teaching and cultural forms.


Pattani as the name of a city state may have been changed after the ruler converted to Islam. There is some dispute about the origins of the name, one theory being that the name derives from Pantai Ini in standard Malay language. At the same time, the people of Pattani, Kelantan and Besut (the northern part Trengganu) speak a very distinctive dialect in which the sounds Patta Ni mean "This Shore". Today, the Thais denote the language of the people in the south of Thailand is "Jawi", where Malaysians use Jawi to refer to the written script of the Malay language adapted from Arabic script. This script is thought to have originated in Pattani.



Pattani's Golden Era came after the fall of Melaka to the Portuguese in 1511. Four Queens ruled Pattani during this time: Queen Green (1584-1616), Queen Blue (1616-1624), Queen Purple (1624-35) and Queen Yellow (1635-86). Around 1688-90, the rule of Pattani shifted to the Kelantan royal line, and this scenario was reversed around 1730 when the Pattani royal line came to rule Kelantan. The last sultan of Pattani, Sultan Abdul Kadir Kamaruddin's (1899-1902) son Tengku Seri Akar was married to the daughter of Sultan Muhamad IV of Kelantan. Through the 16th century to the 19th century we can trace many Pattani royal sons and daughters married into the ruling families of Kelantan, Perlis, Trengganu, Pahang, Johor, Melaka and Kedah.



After the four Queens, the power of Pattani gradually declined. Where the rulers of Pattani had once commanded the whole Isthmus, their domains shrank to cover only the four provinces of Pattani, Narathiwat, Yala, and Sathun. Eventually they controlled only the area covered by the modern Thai province of Pattani, only to be swallowed up by Siam in the early 20th century. As Pattani declined, the Sultan of Ligor (Nakhorn Sri Thammarat), although still under Siamese suzerainty, regained a measure of independence, and it is from this that confusion has arisen as to the true location of Langkasuka.



The Thais tend to favour theories that place the centre of Langkasuka farther up north along the Isthmus, at Ligor, rather than at Pattani. Local historians in Nakhorn Sri Thammarat (Ligor/Tambralinga) believe that there were 12 states under the rule (or loosely federated with) the King of Nakhorn Sri Thammarat, before he was captured by the last King of Ayudthaya. This group of 12 states included Kelantan, Trengganu, Pahang and Kedah. At the end of the 18th century, King Taksin of Siam moved his capital to Thonburi after the Burmese sacked the city of Ayudthaya. As part of Taksin's military feats, he captured Ligor. King Taksin removed the King of Ligor and installed him as the Governor of Nakhorn Sri Thammarat.


Islam


Islamic scholars would like to think that Islam came to Pattani through Islamic mubaligh (messengers) during the Saljuk Caliphate (1055-1194) when the Saljuk's Wazir Nizam Al-Malik of Baghdad created a new Islamic teaching system, known as Fondok in Arabic, Pondok in Malay. Pattani is even now famous in the South East Asian region for its tradition of Pondok. The Pondok system centres around an apprentice community led by religious gurus who mainly train in Mekah. There were many famous Islamic scholars from Pattani. Although the first ruler of Pattani converted to Islam only in 1500, it is believed that Islam entered Pattani long before that through Persian and Indian merchants and messengers. Not only Pattani, but also Kelantan became an influential Islamic centre. Kelantan at one point came to be known as Serambi Mekah, "Verandah of Mecca" because of its function in spreading Islam to the rest of the Malay world.


Islamic culture later spread out among Malay scholars and nobles. Prophet Mohamad's famous sayings like "Do travel even to China to learn", "Trading is good in Islam" and Hijrah Lah "Do Move" [from one place to another for better life] adapted well to the traditional life-style of the Malays — travellers and adventurers who colonised all the thousands of islands of the Indonesian and Philippine archipelago and far into the vastness of the Pacific ocean. These Islamic ideas became important principles of Malay-Muslim life. With those concepts we can understand why there was freer movement in trading in the parts of Southeast Asia known in Malay as Nusantara or the Malay Archipelago.



What happened is that Islam took the kingdoms' borders away. The kingdoms ties became stronger through Islamic marriages, and the Muslim peoples of lands under completely different forms of government, such as Mindanao, Jawa, or the Malay Peninsula, discovered in their Islamic heritage bonds that transcended state boundaries. Because of that there was a constant flow and counter-flow of influences among the Malay-Muslim kingdoms such as Champa, Pattani, Kelantan, Trengganu, Pahang, Aceh, Jambi, Johor-Riau, Sambas, Brunei, Makasar, Pontianak, Banjarmasin, Kutai, Sulu, Mindanao and Palawan. This free flow of people and arts — one of the distinctive traits of the Malay world —was one of the reasons why Melaka became an important trading port in the Malay archipelago. Islam reinforced a pre-existing cultural unity for political protection and economic survival.



Muslim unity between the archipelagos and the peninsula seems to have been a combination of Islamic teaching with something ancient and inherent in the Malay character. Looking at the rise and fall of kingdoms, the complex interplay of empires whose reach extended from Jawa to Celebes to Vietnam, one cannot escape the sense that even before Islam, the peoples of the archipelago in general, and the Isthmus in particular, shared a common cultural bond that knitted states and royal houses into a flexible whole. The royal houses themselves were woven together in a seamless fabric — e.g. Kelantan's royal family ruling Pattani and then vice versa. The underlying unity within fluid historical change arose from deep-seated shared cultural roots.



The Malay Isthmus, centered during this time on Pattani, was the old heartland of this culture, and it was constantly a source of struggle between the Isthmian royal houses, Malay sultans on the peninsula and the Siamese kingdoms of Sukhotai, Ayudthaya, Lopburi and Rattanakosin. Pattani was not only famous for its port, but also for jungle products such as tropical woods, birds' nests, ivory, and minerals like tin, steel, silver and gold. During the Ayudthaya period Pattani was considered the second most important port on the peninsula after Melaka. According to old reports, Pattani had gold mines which attracted Chinese miners and Arab buyers. Intermarriages between local Malay, Thai, Chinese and Arabs created special features of the Pattani people.



In discussing what was Langkasuka, it almost impossible to define exactly where was this fabled kingdom that gave birth to so much Malay culture. Part of the problem is that Malay empires in general — not only Langkasuka, but Sri Wijaya and Majapahit also — were ever-shifting flexible realms where capitals moved and royal houses aligned and re-aligned. In the case of Langkasuka, the discussion is further complicated by the fact that there are really several Langkasukas. One Langkasuka, most narrowly defined, was the early 7th century kingdom of Lang Ya Shu described in Chinese annals. Another Langkasuka, the definition most commonly used, is a kingdom or series of kingdoms beginning with Lang Ya Shu and lasting until the fall of Majapahit II in 1502. Another Langkasuka, using the word in the broad sense favoured by artists and traditional folklore, refers to traditional Isthmian culture in general. In this larger Langkasuka, the Langkasuka of legend and art, a series of Malay kingdoms ruled the Isthmus more or less independently from the 1st century, surviving through the hegemony of Funan, Sri Wijaya, Chola, Majapahit, Siam, and the advent of Islam. This larger Langkasuka disappeared with the fall of Pattani in 1902. Only a century, well within a few generations of human memory, separates modern Malays from old Langkasuka.



The Isthmus Divided


For nearly two millennia, kings and empires had not succeeded in dividing the states of the Isthmus, but all this began to change at the beginning of the 20th century.



Since the time of Raja Bharubhasa in 1345, Isthmian states had paid tribute to Siam on and off. After King Taksin of Siam captured Nakhorn Sri Thammarat at the end of the 17th century, the paying of tribute, in the form of gold and silver flower trees became institutionalised for all the Malay states of the Isthmus right down to Kelantan, Trengganu, Kedah and Perlis. Meanwhile, the British consolidated their rule of the peninsula in 1824, and in recognition of the special tribute-paying status of the northern states, they were later designated the Non-Federated States of Malaya.



While these states paid symbolic tribute to Siam, they remained essentially independent kingdoms. Pattani was thus nominally under the reign of Siam, yet eluded her grasp, being ruled not from Bangkok but by a sultan of the Pattani royal line. Pattani and the Isthmian region had been a prize sought after by the Siamese since the Sukhotai period. Prince Damrong, the interior minister of King Chulalongkorn when he visited Pattani in the late 1800's, described the land as a country with enough salt in Kuala Bekah, to feed the whole Malay Peninsula, enough rice in Jaringau to feed the people of the land and fresh water fish in Jambu not to mention the salt water fish, and various tropical fruits in Telubang.



The power politics of Western imperialism during the 19th century provided Siam with the opportunity to gain what it had sought for six hundred years. Siam removed the sultan of Pattani in 1902, and in 1909 the Malay states of Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat, Satun etc. were officially handed to Kingdom of Siam after the signing of the Bangkok Treaty between Siam and Great Britain.



The formal division of the Isthmus into a Thai side and a Malay side has had a drastic impact on the civilisation of the region. After the Bangkok Treaty, "Malay" as an ethnic group became a reference to the Malays in Malaya (later Malaysia), especially to foreign scholars. Malays in South Thailand became known as "Thai Muslim", as a result of the expansion of the Kingdom of Siam and the modern nation building of Thailand after 1934.



With independence from colonial Western powers in the 20th century, accompanied by the rise of distinct national identities in Indonesia and Malaysia, the Malays of Sumatera became known as Melayu-Deli. Divided into separately named ethnic groups, the strongest apparent bond between the Malay people of the archipelago became Islam, with the result that they came to be known not so much as "Malays" as the "Muslims of South East Asia". The discussion of Malay before Islam became more sensitive among the people and political elite.



Because ancient Langkasuka was a Hindu-Buddhist kingdom and the modern Malay people are devout Muslims, this suggested to the Thais that Langkasuka was in the Kingdom of Siam. So Thai authorities have come up with various theories to claim Langkasuka as based in southern Thailand. In the same way, problems concerning the true origin of the Thai race led Thai historians to identify themselves with the kingdom of Nan Chao in Dali, southern China.



The making of the modern Thai state beginning in the late 1800's and early 1900's during the reigns of King Mongkut and King Chulalongkorn was indeed a smart move. Thailand's unification of various kingdoms in the north, north east and south, including the Malay states below Singgora (Songkhla) enriched the nation's economic and cultural resources.



Langkasuka Lost



In modern times, Langkasuka has become a victimised cultural source for Malay civilisation. It is a non-politically correct subject to discover for a modern Islamic country like Malaysia, and Malay Studies departments in Malaysian Universities steer clear of it. South East Asian studies need only concern themselves with political and economic matters. A controversial topic is preferably avoided, especially with the establishment of ASEAN.



Though cultural history is very much needed in the development of fine arts studies in Malaysia, universities side-stepped the controversy and devoted all their energy and resources for developing something new, denying and ignoring the cultural past. Thus Kelantan, Kedah, Perlis and Trengganu states to a certain extent became alien states in their own nation. Their cultural and social behaviours are often accused of backwardness. Because of that the people and the governments of these states are constantly trying to separate themselves from their cultural past and drive people away from indigenous Malay culture towards the popular Arabian style of Islamic movement.



The discussion about Langkasuka with Pattani scholars and people would not be complete without mention of the last sultan of Pattani. After 1902, Sultan Abdul Kadir was first exiled to Phitsanulok in the north of Siam but later took refuge in Kelantan where his in-laws lived. There were a few attempts by the Pattani royal family and Islamic intellectuals to start a separatist movement in Pattani but all failed, as both parties had different agendas. With the rise of communist movements in the Isthmus in 1960s and the activities of PULO guerrillas in southern Thailand, Malaysia strove to avoid being drawn into a conflict with Thailand, and this had the effect of driving the Malay states in Malaysia even farther from Pattani. Among the old people of Pattani, we can see the sadness of people abandoned by their sultan, as they continue to live there and pray in the mosque that the sultan and sultan before built. Meanwhile, young people are divided as to whether they should be Malay, Thai Muslim or Thai. It is sad that this should occur at the very heart of old Langkasuka which once ruled the Isthmus as the most ancient Malay kingdom before Islam, Thailand or Malaysia.



We often look at "Malay" as in Malaysia, a country that obtained independence from Great Britain in 1957. If we look at art forms we tend to concentrate on Malay Islamic art forms, when the arts flourished most, probably during Melakan civilisation, after the sultan converted to Islam. Modern Malaysian education tends to reinforce the view that Malay art forms started from Melaka after Islam, ignoring the northern states that have so much more historical background. The development of Malay culture after independence recognised Jawanese, Bugis and Sumateran immigrant origins, overlooking Langkasuka origins because Langkasuka was a Hindu-Buddhist state and its old centre of Pattani is now in Thailand.



In short, the official version of modern Malaysian culture is that Malaysia is a land of convergence of many immigrants from the Indonesian archipelago looking for new hope. In this formulation, lost is the soul of being peninsular Malay, of possessing indigenous cultural roots going back to Langkasuka, Funan, and before. It is worse for Pattani, since the once famous kingdom has become part of Thailand, a Buddhist country that downplays Malay racial and cultural identity, in order to develop its own distinct national culture.



Langkasuka culture is controversial in modern Malaysia because it tends to be defined as Buddhist or Hindu. Yet the arts of Langkasuka continued to flourish for four hundred years during the Islamic era of the Pattani Kingdom. In short, Langkasuka should not be looked at as period, a city, a particular religion — but rather as a cultural sphere.


Langkasuka Found



One of the unspoken but influential reasons why modern Malay scholars have not paid much attention to Langkasuka and its legacy is that from their perspective, the Isthmus lies on the fringe. Pattani, Kelantan, Kedah, Perlis, and Trengganu are barbarous places lying far away from the cultural centres they are familiar with. These are: Sri Wijaya and Majapahit from the 6th to the 14th centuries, Melaka in the 15th century, Singapore and Penang under colonial rule, and Kuala Lumpur today. The northern states remain still very much "Non-federated" from the point of view of mainstream Malaysian culture. Making them seem even more remote is the fact that they speak dialects that are difficult for outsiders to fully understand.



The strong Thai influence in the culture of the northern states also makes them seem outlandish from the point of view of central Malaysia. On the other hand, the Thais easily dismiss their own heritage acquired from the Malay states they absorbed because, looked at from the vantage of Sukhotai, Ayudthaya, and Bangkok, the Isthmus lies far to the south. Its culture, being Islamic today, is alien to them. Since King Rama V (Chulalongkorn), the process of absorbing the southern states into Thailand has been successful, with the result that the remnants of Islamic culture remaining there seem crude and simple. For the Thais too, Langkasuka lies at the fringe.



The same could be said of Indonesian scholarship, standing in awe of the monumental remains in Jawa, and dazzled by the Hindu arts of Bali. The Isthmus way up north seems very distant from the royal capitals of the Sri Wijayan and Majapahit empires and the later Islamic kraton of Solo and Yogyakarta. Seen from Jawa island, the arts of the Malay Isthmus appear old-fashioned, rustic, and folk — watered-down versions of classic Jawanese arts. In any case, since 1947 with the creation of the modern nation of Indonesia, the Isthmus today stands politically remote as well, a no-man's-land divided between two different countries, Thailand and Malaysia.



Yet, like the spokes of a fan radiating from a single hinge, what appears remote at the edges of the fan, may be the focal point holding all the spokes together. In other words, the fringe may be the hinge. Especially in the case of the Malay peninsula, the argument could be made that Langkasuka culture, far from lying at the fringe, was the primal and determinant culture of the peninsula for most of the historic period. Even today, it is the arts of Langkasuka as they have survived in the northern states and southern Thailand that wield the strongest influence on traditional Malay arts.

It's important to look closely at traditional arts such as dance, shadow puppets, martial arts, and wood carving because of a problem peculiar to Malay peninsular culture: a lack of tangible monuments. The Indonesian archipelago has Borobudur ; Cambodia has Angkor Wat, Burma has Pagan, Thailand has Sukhotai and Ayudthaya, Vietnam has Cham. Compared to these great monuments of the past, the Malay peninsula can boast only a modest group of Hindu remains in Kedah, slim pickings for those seeking the heart of a great culture.


The old cities of Melaka and Penang are the exceptions that prove the rule, for they have everything to do with Chinese and Western colonial influence, and almost nothing to do with indigenous Malay culture — they are not the places to seek the ancient Malay spirit. This lack of impressive monuments is a secret frustration and embarrassment for Malay historians.


But from another point of view, perhaps it is something to be proud of. Thoreau wrote: "Many are concerned about the monuments of the West and the East, to know who built them. For my part, I should like to know who in those days did not build them, — who were above such trifling." In asking ourselves what was the essence of Malay traditional culture, both before and after the advent of Islam, it would seem that the energies of common people, artists, and the ruling elite did not pour into building enduring monuments. Rather they went into ephemeral arts such as ritual, dance, music, pantun poetry, or wood carving in a sensitive response to the numinous forest and ocean environment in which the Malays lived. The belief that nothing is permanent is expressed in the 2-verse pantun:


Sekali air bah, Sekali pantai berubah

Once flooded, The shored is changed.



It could be said that not building enduring monuments was a trait of the Malay-Indo world in general. Java's great temples are in that sense something of an anomaly, by no means typical or representative of Malay culture in the rest of the archipelago, the peninsula, or the Philippines. Malays, as a rule, did not seek immortality in stones, brick, plaster, or gold and silver pavilions towering to the sky. They were above such trifling.